This mural is the result of four artists, 14 years and one controversial art movement.
It first came to life in 1984 through the work of artists Carol Ruff and Barbary O’Brien. The scene showed an old man and a child on a bicycle, expressing the ties between the older and younger generations. In 1991, artist Driller Jet Armstrong designed a new mural using elements of the original plus works by local artists, including David Bromley.
The reinvented mural is a dreamlike, abstract and surreal vision of space, the world and the passing of a time.
Using an existing work to create a new artistic vision was a feature of the Daubist movement, which originated in South Australia. “Daubist” or “daubism” refers to the daubs of paint in landscape paintings of Australia, especially in the mid-20th century. The movement declared: “We did not choose this name because our main concern was to daub over other people’s paintings but in reference to our own deliberately badly painted landscapes ... As such it’s not a brilliant new idea, but another variation of a continuing investigation of the Australian bushscape.”
The first Daubist exhibition in 1991 caused arguments about copyright, appropriation and authenticity. There was debate over whether Armstrong’s adding to an original artwork, in this case paintings by Charles Bannon, constituted a true and original artwork.
Bannon took Armstrong to the Federal Court of Australia, resulting in a settlement with the Daubist movement. Bannon was aided by the National Association for the Visual Arts, which wanted to amend copyright law and protect visual artist’s rights. The Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act was introduced in 2000 as a result.